The single most important task a foodservice professional can do to help ensure the success of their business, is to use a food cost calculator to begin building their business plan. Clients ask us all the time if we could recommend a free food cost calculator to help them with this task, so we decided to create our own, for you to use free of charge.

Learning how to prepare a food cost analysis is not a trade secret, and you do not need to attend the finest culinary schools to learn how to do it. However, it is essential that every chef and restaurant owner have a basic understanding of how it works. Our free food cost calculator below is simple to use, and you can even download or print your work to make changes in the future. Before you get started, we recommend you review our Post “How to Create a Food Cost Analysis,” so you have a better understanding as to how the calculator works.

How to use our Free Food Cost Calculator

This calculator format is of our own design, so we’ve locked some of the cells and formulas within it to make sure no one makes the mistake of altering it. Besides that, the free food cost calculator is completely customization to fit your recipe.

You have the ability to customize:

  • The Recipe Name
  • Number of Portions
  • Portion Size (using each, ounces, liters, or whatever you like)
  • Your list of specific ingredients
  • Quantities of each ingredient and their associated cost designation. For example, you will buy flour by the pound (or kilogram) so your recipe quantity and cost should be in ounces (or grams).
  • AP Cost is the “As Purchased Cost.”  If flour costs say $2 for 10 pounds, then the AP cost would be $.0125 per ounce.
  • Yield % reflects the amount of usable product from an ingredient after fabrication. For example, if you purchase a watermelon for a recipe and you must determine the usable portion. If you decide that on average, 20% of the watermelon consists of rind that you discard, then your Yield is 80%.
  • The New Fabricated Cost updates your ingredient cost after accounting for the discarded part, such as the rind of the watermelon in our example above.
  • The final item you will notice at the bottom of the ingredient list is an item called “Utility.” We recommend all chefs include a utility cost associated with each recipe to account for those items that may be needed to create the recipe. These are costs that cannot be quantified within it. For example, you need to wash your hands before you cook, but you cannot quantify the amount of hand soap and paper towels that may be used in creating it. So, you assign a Utility cost to cover these expenses. Every restaurant will have a different Utility cost, but it typically is not more than a dollar or two per recipe.

Once you’ve used the free food cost calculator to compile all your recipes, you can use this information as the basis to generate your restaurant budget and subsequent restaurant business plan.

Keep in mind that this is only one component of a comprehensive restaurant budget or business plan, so if you require assistance, you are welcome to explore our restaurant consultants services to learn how we assist clients with these types of documents..

Free Food Cost Calculator

Don’t Want To Create Your Own Templates?

Go to our Business Resources page to Purchase a Downloadable copy of our
Food Cost Analysis or Budgeting Templates in Microsoft Excel.

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